Why video gamers should learn music

woman conducting music leds



Jagex's runescape; (was) The first piece of art that I was intensely interested in.

The first thing that affected me so powerfully that I was driven to, become it.

Runescape doesn't have a fixed class system. You can do anything; within your skill level.

Anyone who put time into their craft, would eventually become good. The higher your skill level, the more fun you can have.

Today, games have been turned off.

But as I work, Undertale's Megalovania plays in the background.

Its electric guitar, setting the tempo, making me want to work faster.

Aggressively nodding my head in sync. Solving programming puzzles, as though it's a tetris game.

I go into a dreamlike state. Hands moving in a mesmorising technical dance on the keyboard.

I'm based in reality, but a part of me feels like I'm playing a game.

Gamers, develop an intimate relationship with soundtracks. Each piece of music is not

just another piece of music. But a memory, tightly knit to when that song was heard.

Objectively, runescape's soundtrack isn't the greatest... Questionable trumpets sound the melody.

The percussion makes me cringe. I wouldn't show this song to anyone who hasn't played the game.

Expecting an outsider to appreciate it, borders on the absurd.

However, to me their songs come with the memory of my childhood.

Rushing home after primary school, to play the game. Mindlessly cutting logs for hours in a forest behind lumbridge.

The absence of all responsibities, and the precense of being able to fully engage without a worry in the world.

That period of my life is gone, and I can never have it back.

But the song that came with those memories. This trashy song, I love it so dearly.

This piece of shit is my childhood.

Musicians who don't game, also develop memories with music. High school bands, Greenday angst.

Teens with pimpled faces, doing first gigs in rundown bars on the otherside of town. Songs written for friends and family.

This is to Zanarkland from FFX. My housemate previously never played any musical instruments.

However, he loved this song so much he learnt it on Piano. Since learning To Zanarkland, the details of individual notes are highlighted.

The recording's expert phrasing, and soft dynamics became more vivid. When listening, the sensation of touch

from the piano, is a new memory attached to the hearing of each pitch.

Listening to megalovania, I don't just hear megalovania.

A musicians ear recognises, the familliar bass patterns.

Taking a look at music theory, we feel the nostalgic IV V vi movement.

There's the bass, supporting the song. At 0:48 the IV - V - vi riff kicks in. The classic JRPG chord progression.

Heavy rock, is emphasised with beats, landing on 1 and 3, complemented by a snare, backbeat on 2 and 4.

The harmony clearly outlined by synth motifs.

From previous musical background, I'm reminded of Boku No Hero Academia's HERO A.

There's an up tempo high energy feel. Distorted guitars with similar timbre.

Musically, both songs have momentum by starting on predominant chords.

They then move towards the tonic resolution, then immediately back down away.

Inducing feelings of continuous undeterred movement.

In the anime, the song is played while the main character intensely trains for 10 months.

And when I hear the song, I'm inspired to try as hard as he does.

As a musician, hearing undertale's megalovania comes with referenced undertones from Hero A.

The more knowledge gained on and around a topic, the more connections and stimulus we can attach to it.

The more you understand about megalovania the more you enjoy the song.

The more you understand about music, the more you enjoy music.

The case for me asking gamers to learn music, is not to get good at doing music itself.

It's so when you listen to music, you have a deeper appreciation. And can love it even more.

Thanks for watching.

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